The Gunners brought the foreign invasion to the English shores and refined the Premier League era with the Invincibles. They’ve got style class and they play the beautiful game the way purists demanded it should be played. From boring Arsenal to lifting trophies at Highbury, the support is waiting for the true glory to return, the Gunners remain proud. The list of stars that have faithfully turned out in the red and white is long and lustrous. The club earned their trophies and fame on the back of a combination of leg breakers and magic makers and no three players represent it better. Here is my list of the true icons that define Arsenal Football Club.
Adams was the king of North London, he signed as a schoolboy at age 14 and retired in a shirt a legend, winning multiple trophies under both George Graham and Arsene Wenger. He bridged the gap between the old First Division and the sparkling new Premier League era. He was the English bedrock the Invincibles were built on and he helped pave the way for Arsenal’s success. Tony Adams encapsulated the never-say-die attitude the Gunners became known for when playing at their best. Strong in the tackle and equally tough in the air, Adams even had a nice eye for goal, scoring 48 goals during his time with the club. Adams spent his entire career at Arsenal, 19 seasons winning 13 trophies. There just aren’t any more defenders that have been more important in the club’s history, you don’t earn the nickname ‘Mr Arsenal’ for nothing.
Dennis Bergkamp represents Arsenal’s free-flowing football. He was the man in Holland with Ajax but life wasn’t great in Italy with injury. In search of a new home, Arsenal spent a club-record seven and a half million pounds to acquire the non-flying Dutchman. Bergkamp’s first year was tough as he went his first six games without a goal. After making an intimate connection with the back of the net 120 times, winning three league titles, three FA Cups and three Community Shield, no Arsenal supporter would deny Bergkamp’s legendary status. Adams and later Patrick Vieira may have resembled Arsenal’s toughness, but Bergkamp epitomized their pure class, simplicity and beauty. Bergkamp didn’t so much score and create goals, he blessed the back of the net and delivered minor miracles in the form of assists. His touch was softer than a baby’s sleeping breath and his on-field vision attributes were clearly imported from a superhero video game. Then there was that goal against Newcastle, you know the one I’m talking about.
Adams was the grit, Bergkamp was maestro but Thierry Henry was something that just couldn’t be quantified. The Frenchman arrived four years after Bergkamp from Juventus as another player who struggled in Serie A. 11 million pounds was a big risk for Arsenal at the time. Wenger turned Herny from a timid winger to a dominating striker, and his 228 goals in an Arsenal shirt probably will be for the rest of time Arsenal’s record number.
The Gunners aren’t short on world-class players in their history with Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry topping the charts. The three legends are synonymous with Arsenal, and you won’t find any represented club more accurately.